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Your A to Z Guide to Basement Excavation

by | Jan 16, 2021 | Construction

You must have often heard from people- the site is being excavated or must have seen excavation signboards on the street. Excavation is the activity of digging the earth’s surface for future activities that includes not limited to residential activities, commercial projects, or archaeological studies.  

Excavation is mainly divided according to the material used for excavation activity. It can be of various types such as earth excavation, topsoil excavation, muck excavation, basement excavation, trench excavation, and more. One of the most expensive excavations is basement excavation and here is everything you need to know about basement excavation

What is a Basement Excavation?
Basement excavation is an excavation process in which the lower level of a building below the ground level or a story undergoes a digging process. The basement excavation activity is planned after analyzing the size of the property, required building work after the excavation and the amount of excavation needed. The deeper you want to excavate the basement excavation will be more expensive. 

Basement Excavation Process

The first and foremost action of basement excavators is to erect hoarding and build a small shelter in front or around the opening of the basement excavation site. An external opening is created to the basement area and temporary water-proofing and necessary equipment are installed. At this stage, an excavator is all set to dig in the basement with help of excavating tools and materials. The building services may have a new path to avoid inconvenience to you or your surroundings. 

Common Basement Excavation Methods 

Planning is the key to progress for excavation activities. The basement excavation process is not a complex excavation activity but excavators should be highly trained and experienced to conduct the excavation process. He/She must be thorough with the techniques and methods. Here are two common basement excavation methods that you might expect from your excavator:

  1. Full Open-Cut Method
    Full Open- Cut methods are of two types sloped and cantilevers. If you choose to proceed with the sloped method, there are chances that it will not burn a hole in your pockets while in the cantilever method the excavation process will be expensive because the walls require retention to avoid collapse. The cantilever method is effective for deep basement excavation. 

  2. Bracing Method
    In this type of method, the struts are installed horizontally and straight in front of the retaining walls. The struts are installed so that the walls do not collapse because of pressure. Centre, end, and corner post accompanied with struts and wales are required in bracing methods.

Risks Attached to Basement Excavation

All excavation activities come with risk attached however compared with working on top floors of the building, working on lower levels poses higher potential risks. The complexity of excavation increases as you move to dig in more depths. The most common risk while performing basement excavation are as follows: 

  1. Poor weather can lead to drainage difficulties and flooding risks

  2. Poor ground conditions

  3. Hindrance of various services like tunnels or mining works and more

  4. Contentious boundary issues

  5. Burden from the surrounding buildings and roads

  6. Waterproofing, insurance, and guarantee failures

If you are planning to conduct a basement excavation activity in your building, always remember to check the credibility of the excavation contractors. Now when you know basic A to Z about the basement excavation process you can discuss the additional issues with your basement excavation contractor with confidence.